The annual Licensing Expo brings the biggest brands from across the country and abroad to Las Vegas next week, May 23-25. Plenty of animated properties are getting in on the action and continue to inspire fresh product partnerships.
+ American Greetings Entertainment welcomes Funko as its first licensing partner for Netflix Original Series Buddy Thunderstruck, from Stoopid Buddy Stoodios. The residents of Greasepit will be transformed into character plush, vinyl figures, accessories and apparel in time for a Holiday 2017 online and in-store launch. AGE will also spotlight Care Bears, with its 35th Anniversary Celebrations (partners include Nordstrom, Land of Nod, Dylan’s Candy Bar, California Donuts and Afters Ice Cream), new Limited Edition Rainbow Heart Bear hitting shelves in fall, and a national holiday Share Your Care Day planned for September 9.
+ LEVEL-5 abby will showcase its entire kids’ entertainment portfolio at the Expo. This includes smash-hit cross-media adventure property Yo-Kai Watch (getting new animated content and games in the near future); the super successful Layton puzzle-mystery game franchise (the latest title, Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy launches first on mobile July 20, followed by a Nintendo release); and its newest cross-media project The Snack World — a tech-infused story following the magical adventures of a boy named Chup which has arrived as a CG animated series in Japan with Nintendo and mobile games, toy line and comic books coming in July.
+ Rainbow (stand D196) will bring color and magic to the show floor with its three fabulous fashion brands. The “next-gen” fairytale reinvention Regal Academy (broadcast in over 100 countries, season 2 in production) has so far signed Auldey Toys (master toy, NorAm), PBS Kids (home video, NorAm), Papercutz (graphic novels, NorAm & anglophone territories), Giochi Preziosi (pan-European master toy), Egmont (publishing, Russia & Poland), Procos (partyware, multi-territory), Zaini (confectionary, pan-Europe), and DTR Fashion with Original Marines and Kellogg’s (Italy). The newest installment in its popular fairy franchise World of Winx is currently airing worldwide on Netflix and on Rai Gulp (Italy), launching soon on TV Zoom (Israel), Karusel (Russia) and Planet Cocuk (Turkey). Rainbow is also shopping its live-action series Maggie & Bianca Fashion Friends.
+ Mondo TV (stand G214) is also making a big push for its first live-action property, Heidi, Bienvenida a Casa, but animation is still key to its activities. Aurora World co-pro YooHoo & Friends is prepping for a Q1 2018 broadcast launch by building up partnerships including Panini SpA (stickers & trading cards, worldwide). Korean prodco CJ E&M’s Robot Trains has so far secured Italian partners Preziosi Food (edibles including Easter eggs, surprise eggs, spreadable cream), Grani & Partners Preziosi Group (collectibles), and Ravensburger (puzzles & memory games). Mondo will also showcase Cuby Zoo, Sissi the Young Empress, Invention Story, Adventures in Duckport, The Treasure Island, Eddie Is a Yeti, Bug Rangers and Nori – Rollercoaster Boy.
+ Xilam has signed on three new licensing agents for its flagship animated children’s property Oggy & the Cockroaches: IMC Licensing for Latin America (excluding Mexico), Active Merchandising in Germany, and Brand4rent in Russia. Agreements have also been renewed with Empire Licensing for Southeast Asia and Discovery Kids in Italy. “Our international expansion is a major strategic priority ahead of the launch of the new season five, and having a presence in these major territories will be key in accomplishing this goal locally.” — SVP of Global Licensing Marie-Laure Marchand.
+ Mauricio de Sousa Productions will aim to build the presence of Brazilian kids’ hit Monica and Friends and its spinoffs during Licensing Expo. At over 50, Monica and Friends started as comics and now spans books, movies, cartoons, game, apps and 3K-plus licensed products. Minimalist, modern and dialog-free, Monica Toy is a short format series which has racked up 215 million monthly views on YouTube, targeting teens and adults. Let’s Play marks the characters’ first iteration aimed at toddlers and preschoolers. And in partnership with Cartoon Network, the characters’ world expands to the rest of the neighborhood in Lemon Tree Street, aimed at kids 7-10 and set to debut in 2018. This brand has an established presence on Cartoon Network LatAm, Playkids app, Google Play, VOD, iTunes and its three YouTube Channels (which reach nearly 320 million views per month, 66% from outside Brazil).
+ The Jim Henson Company inked a five-year agreement with graphic novel and comics publisher Boom! Studios to bring iconic puppet properties The Dark Crystal (now in its 35th anniversary year), Labyrinth, Fraggle Rock and The StoryTeller to the page, as License Global reported Friday. The terms of the deal will result in at least 17 new titles published under the Archaia imprint. A previous partnership resulted in 20 titles inspired by these brands, including in in-process 12 issue Dark Crystal comic series, which will be followed by kids’ book Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal Tales this summer.
+ Licensing Works! has signed a raft of new licensees on for the 75th Anniversary of The Little Prince which will join mater publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in celebrating in 2018. This includes Finn and Emma (infant apparel, sleepwear, bibs, blankets, knit toys, rattles, swaddle gift sets, teethers, stroller accessories, play mats/gyms), Little Unicorn (hooded towel & washcloth sets, fitted sheets, quilts, changing pad covers, swaddles), Storiarts (infant caps & baby blankets, Rizzoli Universe (calendar), Out of Print (bags, tops, socks, onesies, pins, cases), Culturenik (bookmarks, boxed gift mugs, canvas prints, small-format prints), Vinca (earrings & necklaces), Riley Blake (fabric, notions, customizable fabric storybook), Litographs (tees, scarves, posters, bags), Socksmith (men’s & women’s socks), G. Arts (lasercut wood products), Walls360 (lift-and-place wall graphics). Sofitel Luxury Hotels, continuing its 5-year relationship with the book brand, will create programs for young travelers and their families through “Magnifique Family” special offers, in support of the Antoine de Saint-Exupery Foundation for Youth.